As on Sunday, coronavirus cases in the country neared the 63,000-mark (62,939) with 2,109 fatalities and 19,358 recoveries. The recovery rate stands at about 30.75 per cent. Maharashtra still has the highest number of cases in the country, with 20,228 infections and the death toll at 779. The state is followed by Gujarat (cases – 7797, deaths – 472), Delhi (cases – 6542, deaths – 68), and Tamil Nadu (cases – 6535, deaths – 44).
As India enters the last week of the third phase of the lockdown, which is scheduled to end on May 17, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold another meeting with state Chief Ministers via video-conference on Monday afternoon at 3 pm. This will be his fifth meeting with CMs to discuss the post-lockdown strategy.
Meanwhile, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has appealed to all states to permit the operation of migrant special trains so that the stranded can reach home in the next three to four days. “As per the directions of Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi ji, Railways is fully geared up to run 300 Shramik Special trains everyday at short notice since the last six days,” he tweeted. The appeal comes a day after Home Minister Amit Shah wrote to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the running of such trains.
Here is a curated list of some interesting stories from across the country on Day 47 of India’s coronavirus lockdown.
Banks find new ways to amuse and inform during lockdown
At a time when the spread of COVID-19 has made social distancing a buzzword, banks have increased their reliance on social media to engage with their customers — for disseminating information or for dispelling their boredom.
Among the noteworthy initiatives by banks during the lockdown, HDFC came out with a scheme to help its customers find their artistic talent.
“Tired of staying home and having nothing to do? HDFC Bank Fingage presents The Art Project, to give you a #BreakFromBoredom! Unlock your creativity during the lockdown & stand a chance to win exciting prizes!,” tweeted the bank, trying to engage its customers during the lockdown.
Punjab National Bank (PNB) has come up with a contest on Mother’s Day with a catchy slogan, “For her, you will always remain a child.”
Since the lockdown has made online banking more vulnerable to fraudsters, several banks are regularly warning their customers against possible frauds.
‘Yamraj’ chides people flouting lockdown rules in MP town
Clad in black embellished clothes, crowned with a golden headgear and wielding a mace, this coal worker disguised as the god of death will be seen frightening those flouting lockdown norms in a small mining town. Accompanied by his trusted aide Chitragupt, Yamraj will descend on Parasia town in the Chindwara district of Madhya Pradesh, famous for mining and the Pench National Park, and take to task all those found defying the lockdown rules.
With social distancing often going for a toss in this area and people not adhering to rules, a group of workers of Coal India arm Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL) decided to organise street plays to urge people to guard themselves from the deadly coronavirus.
The street plays — a joint initiative of WCL Pench Area and Parasia police station coordinated by ‘MITRA’ volunteers of the company — were performed for two weeks last month, and will resume next week.
SHG members provide 1.5 crore meals to needy in Odisha
Members of women Self Help Groups (SHG) in Odisha have provided more than 1.5 crore meals to the needy during the lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, officials said.
As part of efforts to provide food security to people, members of Mission Shakti SHGs have provided
2.05 lakh meals to Aahar Kendras, subsidized food centres in municipal areas, they said.
Similarly, the SHGs have provided meals to 44,832 patients in different hospitals during the ongoing nationwide lockdown, a senior official said.
Lockdown offer: Bengaluru zoo gets encouraging response to animal adoption programme
The Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) has received an encouraging response to its animal adoption programme launched during the COVID-19-induced lockdown, with dozens of wildlife conservation enthusiasts getting on board.
“Last week, 36 people adopted 43 animals and donated Rs 5.36 lakh,” BBP Executive Director Vanashree Vipin Singh told PTI on Sunday.
They include Bengaluru South MLA M Krishnappa, who adopted an elephant and a tigress by paying Rs 2.75 lakh. Other patrons have adopted animals such as tiger, leopard and zebra at the BBP, a unit of the Zoo Authority of Karnataka.
“There are about 80 inquiries from all parts of the country and also abroad. Replies and details have been sent to them. There will be further adoptions this week,” she said.